New Theatre, Hull – until Saturday 28th May 2022
Reviewed by Anne Walker
I really wasn’t sure if the Jersey Boys musical would be my cup of tea. Being a huge musical theatre fan, I thought this would be a bit of a jukebox show and it would be okay but not great. How wrong I was? The internationally acclaimed show which has won 65 major awards certainly changed my mind.
Each of the original Four Seasons band members, directly addresses the audience, narrating their side of the story. Four boys from Jersey, from the wrong side of the tracks, started by Tommy DeVito (Dalton Wood), Frankie Valli (the wonderful Michael Pickering with his amazing falsetto), Nick Massi (Lewis Griffiths, who brought the fabulous bass tones and also some very funny lines) and the very likeable Bob Gaudio , the writer of most of those great hits ( Blair Gibson who brought some amazing harmonies to complement the others).
You will watch this musical and realise just how many of their endless hits you recognise, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry,’ Walk Like a Man, ‘Sherry,’ ’ Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and ‘Working My Way Back To You’ to name but a few. This is so much more than a ‘jukebox’ musical because the songs are slotted in perfectly to tell the Jersey Boys story and what a story it is. A combination of highs and lows, mob connections, prison spells, bad debts and soaring success, it has everything.
A simple set with a one tier scaffolding, teamed with a screen showing the changing of the seasons was very effective. At one point, the screen projects footage of the group performing in black and white on a television show, creating a whole different perspective for the audience. Special mention must go to the often forgotten ensemble cast, who had numerous different roles to play throughout the show. A very talented bunch.
This was a very slick production with wonderful performances from the whole cast. A great mixture of dynamic music and realistic drama. I would really recommend seeing this show as it was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. You will come away thinking, ‘Oh what A Night!’